Jero Wacik resigns as energy and mineral resources minister

Jero Wacik resigns as energy and mineral resources minister

Jero Wacik (ANTARA FOTO/Vitalis Yogi Trisna)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha reported that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had received a letter of resignation from Jero Wacik as minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.

"President Yudhoyono had received the resignation this morning," Julian Aldrin Pasha said here on Friday.

According to Julian, Minister Jero Wacik has tendered his resignation, effective September 5, 2014.

"Yes, Jero Wacik has resigned with effect from today," he affirmed.

Julian noted that a replacement for the post has not been determined yet.

"Maybe the government will appoint an interim," he said.

However, Julian did not answer whether Jero Wacik has met with President Yudhoyono.

"The president has accepted the resignation," he stated.

Earlier, Energy Minister Jero Wacik had been named as a suspect here on Wednesday in his capacity as the minister in 2011-2012 in connection with an alleged extortion case.

"Indeed, an order had been issued on September 2, 2014, regarding investigation on suspect Jero Wacik of the ministry of energy in connection with violation of Article 12, Paragraph e, or Article 23 of Law No. 31 of 1999 in conjunction with Law No. 20 of 2001 and Article 421 of the Criminal Code," Zulkarnain, the KPK deputy chairman, announced at a press conference.

According to Article 12, Paragraph e, a state official who acts to benefit him/her or others against law or misuses his/her power to force others to give something, pay to do something for him/her, is committing extortion.

Anyone proven guilty of violating the law may face a sentence of up to 20 years in jail and a maximum fine of Rp1 billion.

"After assuming the post of energy minister, Jero Wacik had ordered several employees to extort money, as he claimed to collect additional operational funds over and above the budget allocations," another KPK Deputy Chairman Bambang Widjojanto reported at the press conference.

He referred to several illegal activities committed to rake up funds, such as procurements or kickbacks, and fictitious meetings to amass up to Rp9.9 billion.

The extortion case came to light after investigations into an alleged corruption case, which was linked to a public awareness event, fun bike event, and the ministrys office maintenance work that amounted to Rp25 billion.

As a result, the state had incurred potential losses worth Rp9.9 billion.